Article

Greater improvement in summer than with light treatment in winter in patients with seasonal affective disorder.

Clinical Psychobiology Branch, NIMH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.56). 12/1998; 155(11):1614-6. DOI: 10.1176/ajp.155.11.1614
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The authors sought to compare the degree of mood improvement after light treatment with mood improvement in the subsequent summer in patients with seasonal affective disorder.
By using the Seasonal Affective Disorder Version of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the authors rated 15 patients with seasonal affective disorder on three occasions: during winter when the patients were depressed, during winter following 2 weeks of light therapy, and during the following summer. They compared the three conditions by using Friedman's analysis of variance and the Wilcoxon signed ranks test.
The patients' scores on the depression scale were significantly higher after 2 weeks of light therapy in winter than during the following summer.
Light treatment for 2 weeks in winter is only partially effective when compared to summer. Further studies will be necessary to assess if summer's light or other factors are the main contributors to this difference.

Full-text

Available from: Teodor Postolache, Oct 05, 2014
0 Followers
 · 
67 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We investigated the influence of bright light exposure on the mood-lowering effect of acute tryptophan depletion (ATD). Mildly seasonal healthy young women without a personal or family history of psychiatric disorders remained in either dim or bright light during two test days. Tryptophan-deficient and nutritionally balanced amino acid mixtures were administered in counterbalanced order. Mood state was assessed using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) and Visual Analogue Scales (VAS). In dim light, ATD decreased POMS scores across most subscales, indicating a worsening of mood. In bright light, mood was unaffected by ATD. Thus, bright light blocked the worsening of mood caused by ATD. This was also observed on the positive mood VAS. These results indicate a direct, immediate interaction between bright light and serotonin function. Bright light might help protect against ATD-induced mood change by increasing serotonin above the threshold level below which there is a lowering of mood.
    European Neuropsychopharmacology 02/2008; 18(1):14-23. DOI:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2007.05.003 · 5.40 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The need to develop supplementary or alternative treatments for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is underscored by the significant minority (47%) of SAD patients that is refractory to light therapy, the persistence of residual symptoms despite light treatment, and poor long-term compliance with light use. Because preliminary studies suggest that cognitive and behavioral factors are involved in SAD, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) warrants investigation as a possible treatment option. We piloted a 6-week randomized clinical trial to compare a standard light therapy protocol; a novel, SAD-tailored, group CBT intervention; and their combination in ameliorating and remitting a current SAD episode and as prophylaxis against episode recurrence. Depressive symptom severity and remission rates were assessed at post-treatment and at a 1-year follow-up visit to examine long-term treatment durability. CBT, light therapy, and their combination all demonstrated significant reductions in depressive symptoms on two different outcome measures. Remission rates varied by measure, but did not reach statistical significance. During the subsequent winter, CBT, particularly in combination with light therapy, appeared to improve long-term outcome regarding symptom severity, remission rates, and relapse rates. No CBT-treated participant, with or without light, experienced a full SAD relapse compared to over 60% of those treated with light alone. These results should be viewed as preliminary and are limited by the small sample size (n=23) and lack of a control group. The nearly half of SAD patients who do not remit with light alone may benefit from CBT as an adjunct or alternative treatment, especially as a prophylaxis against episode recurrence.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 07/2004; 80(2-3):273-83. DOI:10.1016/S0165-0327(03)00098-3 · 3.71 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In 1981, seven patients with nonseasonal depression were treated with bright white light in 1982, bright artificial light was used to treat a manic-depressive patient with a seasonal mood cycle. In the last 20 years, a plethora of studies have further defined the depressive populations, who are responsive to light treatment; the optimal timing, intensity, spectral frequency, and duration of treatment; its comparison with other pharmacological interventions; predictors of response; side-effect profiles; viable placebo-control conditions; alternative devices and forms of administration; potential mechanisms and anatomical pathways mediating light's physiological effects; and its application to other disorders and subsyndromaI states. These studies have been conducted across multiple countries with surprisingly consistent results. Further work is needed, as highlighted in this review, to clarify the specific mechanism of action in subtypes of depressive disorders and differential age and gender effects. Although the majority of work in this area is relatively new, it behooves the reader to remember that Solomon, almost 3000 years ago, wrote in Ecclesiastes: "Truly the light is sweet and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun" (11:7).
    Dialogues in clinical neuroscience 12/2003; 5(4):353-65.